YouTube, Netflix, Hulu. Let’s face it: We spend tons of time watching videos. In fact, Limelight found that the average person spends almost eight hours every week watching video content. Think about it: That’s a full day of work just spent watching videos.

It’s clear that consumers love video, and that’s why a product demonstration video is among the best and most effective ways for companies to boost brand awareness, attract new business and close sales deals at the bottom of the funnel.

But that’s easier said than done, and there are lots of ways it can go wrong. You might get viewers to click on your videos, but if the content is bland, mechanical and drags on forever (forever being more than around 2-5 minutes in video time), viewers might get bored and click away. Then your videos could have the opposite effect, draining your resources without giving you any added benefit.

Follow these tips to up your product demo video game and inspire new (and existing) customers to buy.

What Is a Product Demo Video?

Put simply, a product demo video is used to demonstrate how an organization’s product or service offerings work by talking through all of their core features, showcasing any interesting need-to-know tidbits and clarifying any common points of confusion.

Here are some key things to keep in mind when putting your videos together:

  • Keep it simple: Simplicity is key. Getting too bogged down in the details can confuse consumers and make them disillusioned with the product. It might also make your product seem more complicated than it actually is, which could drive away potential sales.
  • Write a good script: There’s some difference of opinion when in the video marketing world it comes to using scripts for videos, but you should at least nail down all the core points you want your customers to walk away with.
  • Have a call to action: Your videos are pointless unless they get your viewers to do something at the end of them. Encourage customers to learn more about your product, visit your website or reach out to one of your reps to schedule a demo.
  • Make it short, sweet and to the point: Nothing turns off a potential customer more than video content that drags on endlessly. No matter how good your product or service is, if your viewers start to get bored, they might also lose interest in what you’re selling.

A product demo video is useful because it gives customers a live-action demonstration of how the product works and how it can help their business. More importantly, it gives them a first-hand look at how they themselves will be using it, which can go a long way toward converting leads to sales.

How a Good Product Demo Video Can Benefit Your Business

The sky’s the limit for your business if you learn to master the product demo video. Here are the top 5 benefits:

1. Boost engagement: Everyone loves a good video. Showcasing your products or services through video can help drive awareness of your brand and generate more meaningful engagement among potential customers. If you post your product demo videos to social media, that can also drive traffic to your pages and website.

2. Cut down on the mistakes: This is particularly helpful in a virtual and hybrid work environment, where bugs, lags and a shaky Wi-Fi connection can ruin even the best live product demos. Prerecording your demo videos helps ensure that none of these technical glitches gets in the way of you reaching your customers.

3. Reduce product demo costs: Before video streaming became the name of the game (thanks, COVID), sales reps actually had to go to the customer to conduct a live product demo. That meant companies had to pay for airfare, lodging and everything else required for these meetings. Product demo videos eliminate many of those costs.

4. Seeing is believing: Marketers are savvy, but consumers are even savvier. Many people have a sixth sense when it comes to detecting phony marketing campaigns, and that puts them on edge whenever they’re being sold a product they’ve never heard of. A good product video can help dispel any apprehensions by showing consumers that the product does exactly what marketers say it does.

5. More people learn about your product: For lots of people, understanding the nitty-gritty technical details of your product might fly way over their head, making it hard for them to truly grasp how the product works (and even harder to really get how it will benefit them). Seeing the product used in action helps customers get a much deeper understanding of how it works.

How To Make a Product Demo Video That Generates Money

OK, you’re convinced that product demo videos make sense for your business and you’re ready to start rolling the cameras and watching the dollars fly in. Follow these steps to create dazzling product demo videos that get prospective customers to buy:

Step 1 – Plan It

The key to a successful product video production is to have a good plan in place. This is where you think hard about who your target audience is and what their pain points are. Having all this information on hand will help you decide which key product feature(s) you want to showcase and figure out the most compelling way to demonstrate them.

Step 2 – Script It

Once you’ve got all that information lined up, you need to condense it all down into a coherent script (or at least write up a few good talking points) that helps to get your message across exactly the way you want it to.

Some of the most impressive (and effective) product videos out there are the ones that tell a good story. Customers are consuming marketing material all the time, but they’re only likely to remember the ones that really kept them engaged. You might consider fitting your key talking points into a short story that both showcases your product and entertains your viewers.

Step 3 – Film It

Now it’s time for the fun part — getting in front of the camera and hitting record. If you don’t have access to a professional recording studio, don’t sweat. There are numerous apps and pieces of software you can download (some of them for free) to help you produce professional videos. You can even use your smartphone camera if you’re on a tight budget.

Remember: Practice makes perfect. Don’t expect to walk into your video recording session thinking you’ll nail it on the first try. Not only is it important for you to come across as the master handler of your product or service, but you’ll also need to convey to potential customers that it’s easy and straightforward to use. That takes time. A lot of it.

Step 4 – Edit It

It’s time to bring your video to life. Editing takes all sorts of different forms. You can trim the length of your video down or remove any unwanted audio (like those stray “uh’s” and “um’s”). Or you can really go to work and add animations, graphics or other flashy special effects.

Be careful though. You don’t want your product demo video to get so busy with graphics that you muddle the message. Make sure that any effects you add don’t distract from the central purpose of the video.

It’s also important to remember that less is more when it comes to product demo videos. Keep your video as short and concise as possible. Be ruthless in your editing and cut out anything you don’t absolutely need.

Examples of Great Product Demo Videos

Not all product demo videos are created equally. Here are some of the best examples you can learn from:

1. Zendesk

Zendesk understands that companies have a lot of data on their hands and it’s really easy for all of it to get lost inside disparate data silos. Its platform is designed to enable customer service agents to connect all that data to maximize the customer experience.

This product demo video spends a solid chunk of its opening salvos talking through some recognizable pain points. It works to build rapport with viewers first by showing that it understands their problems on a deep level, before introducing Zendesk’s solutions as the antidote.

2. Headspace

As part of the renewed focus on mental health among many of today’s consumers, Headspace took the meditation game by storm when it rolled out its guided meditation app in 2012.

For lots of people, daily meditation drifts a little too close to the “woo woo,” something Headspace seemed to understand and tried to thwart right off the bat in this demo video.

Within the first 10 seconds of the video, the narrator leans on scientific research that backs the benefits of meditation for the things most viewers are likely to care about, namely sleep, stress and focus.

He goes on to shoot down the notion that meditation is something reserved for the esoteric, telling viewers that “Headspace is guided meditation. For everybody. No matter who you are or what you do.” The entire video is couched in an entertaining and engaging (and really cute) animation.

3. Grammarly

By now, just about everyone has seen a Grammarly ad on YouTube. In case you haven’t, Grammarly is an online writing assistant that reviews all sorts of different web content for spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes.

The genius of this product demo video is that it actually demonstrates the product at the same time as it presents the (very relatable) pain points. The video hooks the viewer by starting with the text “Let’s suppose you write an email. Or an important post on Facebook,” two things almost everyone (I’m tempted to say exactly everyone) does on a daily basis.

The text throughout the video is interspersed with very common spelling mistakes that get flagged in real time, showcasing the value Grammarly provides to users.

It’s simple, clever and gets straight to the point. It’d be hard to walk away from this video confused about what Grammarly does.

Product Demo Videos: An Essential Tool in Your Marketing Toolkit

There are few things in the marketing world as powerful as videos, making them a must-have for any organization trying to convert leads to sales in the digital world.

Done right, a great product demo video builds rapport and develops trust between companies and the potential customer near the bottom of the sales funnel, helping to dispel any uncertainties about the product and making customers feel more comfortable about doing business.

But videos are more than that. They show customers that your organization is tech-savvy and able to use the tools and mediums they’re most comfortable with. That helps generate a sense of familiarity that can go a long way toward building lasting relationships.

Dan Haverty is a content writer at Brafton. Currently based in Boston, he also spent time living in Ireland and Washington, DC. When he isn’t writing, Dan enjoys reading, cooking and hiking, and he recently became an avid yoga practitioner.